Lon was right.
At our finish line banquet in Tybee Island after the Southern Transcontinental, he cautioned us to not be surprised if we found ourselves (body and spirit) going through some changes the first weeks after returning home. We had all been focused to the point of obsession for 6, 12, 18 months preparing for and then riding the 26 day transcon. Now, as soon as the dinner was over and we'd said our good-byes to our sojourning companions, our lives would return to "normal." But normal would forever be redefined. There would be as many definitions are there were riders.
For me, I found it took my body about three months to decompress, revitalize my immune system, and return to more traditional eating and sleeping patterns. But the hardest was figuring out where I wanted to go next cycling-wise.
I had been dreaming about this transcon for more than 30 years--since the early '80's when Lon first did RAAM. I knew I'd never race across the country, but I knew I needed to ride across it.
In the '80's our kids were school age so taking off a month was unthinkable. Then in the '90's I was undergoing back surgeries and endless rehab. But by 2001 I was back on a bike, a recumbent this time, learning how to ride all over again after the 11 year hiatus on account of the back deal.
One day in 2004 I woke up and realized if I was going to do this transcon thing, I'd better hurry. As Lisa said in "My Cousin Vinny," my biological clock was ticking--not for birthing babies, but for celebrating a birthday (60) after which transcons just may be less possible. That's how it all got started. But now it was finished. I can punch out a century any day I want. So what was going to challenge me? That has remained the question on my mental table for nearly four months.